The previous Mercedes-AMG E63 S was good at everything except for one thing. Has Mercedes-AMG ironed out its one flaw and turned it into a better all-rounder in the facelift version?
The current Mercedes-AMG E63 S is a retweaked and updated version of Mercedes-AMG's (5th-Gen) super saloon. It's labelled as many things, including the most pugnacious super saloon, ideal German muscle car and the ultimate big boy toy.
For those uninitiated with the Mercedes-AMG E63 S, the beast from Stuttgart is a fire-breathing jacked-up version of the E-Class saloon. It is based on the docile E-Class but comes with an oversized 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine that puts the living fear in those who can't tame it.
Specifications of the 2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S 4Matic+
- Engine: M178 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 petrol
- Transmission: Nine-speed AMG Speedshift MCT 9G transmission/ AMG Performance 4Matic+ variable all-wheel drive system.
- Power: 612PS
- Torque: 850Nm
- 0-100 km/h: 3.4 seconds
- Top speed is 300 km/h
The E63 S is an expensive bit of machinery, coming in at RM1.118 million - but it does come with a lot of attributes that make it special, including AMG's magical engineering of making big and heavy chunks of metal feel like a lightweight hot hatch.
The thing is, the Mercedes-AMG E63 S has always had the sports bit down to a tee, but what it lacked was the balance of the BMW M5, which could switch easily from being a boisterous saloon to one that can cart your family around comfortably. Has Mercedes-AMG fixed this? We took one out recently to find out.
Exterior and Interior - so what's new?
The current E63 S joined the E-Class refresh in 2021, which updated the headlamps, taillights, and grille, albeit with the Panamericana chrome vertical bars.
If you're wondering why it looks meaner than your average E-Class, the E 63 S comes with the AMG Night Package as standard, which gives the super saloon a high-gloss black finish on various exterior elements, including window frames, bits of trim on the bumpers and the side mirror caps. Even the tailpipe trim has been given the 'Night' treatment as it is finished in black chrome.
The exterior enhancements do not end there either as the E63 S comes with AMG Exterior Carbon-Fibre Package, which adds a carbon-fibre front splitter and fender trim pieces.
While most would agree that the outside is tastefully done, the inside is a bit like marmite, as some would love it and others hate it. The interior has this blend of black, yellow, and carbon fibre dotted all around the cabin, which we suppose is Mercedes' attempt to make the cabin sporty yet classy.
Whether you like it or not, one thing is for sure: the AMG-specific Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) system with two 12.3-inch displays and AMG Performance steering wheel, which sits in front of the AMG-powered front seats, really does remind you that the car is not an ordinary E-Class.
Powertrain - If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
One thing that Mercedes-AMG has left alone in the updated car is all the mechanical bits under the shell - no one seemed to complain about it, so why change it if it ain't broke.
There's still 612 PS and 850 Nm of torque coming out of the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, and the car can still make the 0-100 km/h sprint in 3.4 seconds. The sheer force and sound it makes will get most drivers feeling giddy in no time, which we believe is one of its best selling points.
Another one of its strong points is its ability to defy the logic of its gas-guzzling engine, because thanks to cylinder deactivation technology, the AMG can be somewhat frugal, one that is comparable to a four-cylinder engine. When we took it for a fuel consumption run, the powerful AMG engine returned 11L/100km, which is not bad for a 4.0-litre V8.
The nine-speed AMG Speedshift MCT 9G transmission and AMG Performance 4Matic+ variable all-wheel-drive system also helps the driver carve corners like it's a small hatchback and the car still feels accurate around corners which is satisfying, especially when you consider the size of the car, which really does seem to defy the laws of physics.
But, the four-door AMG has always been good at providing drivers with driving thrills, the thing that it lacked the most was passenger comfort. So have they rectified it?
Well, according to Mercedes-AMG, they have re-tuned the suspension, used some new bushings all around and included a new subframe carrier at the rear to help with the cause. While the car stills feel as taut and firm as ever, the harshness is no longer there, which makes the car a more rounded machine.
So, the E63 S steers as good as before, gives you great confidence as before, gives you as much information from the wheels as before, but now comes with increased comfort for passengers. To do this without diminishing what drivers love about the car can be considered an achievement because usually, some things have to make way for the other thing to be better.
Because of its four doors and size, some say the E63 S is in no way a weekend car, but actually, it was in no way a weekday car. Because it did all of the sporty driving bits perfectly, you can thrash it around back roads on the weekend without a problem. It just had difficulties doing the day-to-day driving bit, which now it can thanks to its improved comfort.
To be able to provide seven days of driving brings the E63 S to the standard of the all-rounder BMW M5, and perhaps even better because now that it has the comfort side dialled in, you can finally appreciate the engine. It is addictive to use and quick to respond which turns any driver behind its wheel into a giggling little kid! Oh, what joy!